Non-adherence to prescribed antihypertensives in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare settings in Islamabad, Pakistan: a cross-sectional study

Sajid Mahmood, Zahraa Jalal, Muhammad Hadi, Hasan Orooj, Kifayat Ullah Shah

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: This study aimed to assess prevalence and predictors of non-adherence to antihypertensive medication among patients with hypertension attending various healthcare settings in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted in selected healthcare facilities between September, 2017 and December, 2018. The study was conducted in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare settings in Islamabad, Pakistan. Medication adherence was assessed using the eight-item Morisky medication adherence scale (MMAS-8). Sociodemographic and clinical data of recruited patients were collected through a structured questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to determinecovariates significantly associated with medication adherence and blood pressure control.
Results: A total of 776 hypertensive patients using at least one antihypertensive medication were invited to participate in the study. Seven hundred and forty-one (95%) patients completed the questionnaire, Mean (SD) age of participants was 53.6 (±12.6) years. 284 (38.3%) patients had high adherence, 178 (24%) patients had moderate adherence and 279 (37.7%) were non-adherent to the prescribed antihypertensive therapy. Binary regression analysis revealed that old age (OR1.783[95%CI: 1.172-2.712; P=0.013]), being educated (OR 2.018[95%CI: 1.240-3.284 ; P=0.036]), entitlement for free medical care (OR 1.369 [95%CI: 1.009-1.859; P=0.044]), treatment duration (OR 2.868[95%CI: 1.913-4.299; P=0.001]), number of medications (OR 1.973[95%CI: 1.560-2.495; P=0.001]), presence of any comorbidity (OR 2.658[95%CI: 1.836-3.848; P=0.001]) and blood pressure control (OR 3.103[95%CI: 2.268-4.247; P=0.001) were significantly associated with good adherence. Similarly, age (OR 1.998[95%CI: 1.313-3.040; P=0.004]), entitlement for free medical care (OR 1.498[95%CI: 1.116-2.010; P=0.007]), treatment duration (OR 1.886[95%CI: 1.143-3.113; P=0.013]), presence of any comorbidity (OR 1.552[95%CI: 1.123-2.147; P=0.008) and adherence level (OR 3.103[95%CI: 2.268-4.247; P=0.001) had significant association with controlled blood pressure. The following were the main reasons for non-adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medication: “don’t feel need for regular use (24.7%)”, “Carelessness (13.4%)”, and “adverse effects (11.2%)”.
Conclusion: The prevalence of non-adherence to antihypertensive medications was high in the study population and poor medication adherence could potentially explain poor blood pressure control. . Evidence-based targeted interventions on both medication adherence and BP control should be introduced and implemented for better treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73—85
Number of pages13
JournalPatient preference and adherence
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


  • Asia
  • Pakistan
  • adherence
  • antihypertensives
  • blood pressure control
  • cross sectional study
  • hypertension


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